A Note on Romanization

Some of my languages (e.g. Kharulian) have two different representations in the Latin alphabet. I’ve done this because I was unwilling to compromise between the contradictory goals inherent in designing a romanization system.

I use the following terms for the two types of romanization:

  • The friendly spelling is optimized for accessibility. The primary goal is that a typical English speaker, whether linguistically savvy or not, should get a passable approximation of the correct pronunciation of words in the language without needing to be given a phonetic transcription or to read the phonology section of the reference grammar. The friendly spelling may not indicate all phonemic distinctions if doing so would confuse the reader. I use friendly spellings when rendering names into English and in example texts.

  • The pseudo-orthography is optimized for elegance and accuracy. When designing these systems, I imagine that I’m tasked with creating a Latin-based orthography that the speakers will use themselves. As such, it should reflect the internal structure of the language as much as possible, and must be able to represent every phonemic distinction in the language. I use the pseudo-orthography in the reference grammar.